221. Next [F]
222. The Social Network [A]
223. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps [B+]
Next: A below average fantasy thriller that is brought down to a failing grade by the ending, which disregards the whole second half of the movie. The screenwriters and the director should have followed through and disregarded the whole movie in the first place, so that none of us would have to see it. Of course, among friends, you'd be hard pressed to find a movie easier to savage even when you're only paying half attention.
The Social Network: Is it the masterpiece of the decade? Hell, no. But the ridiculous hyperbole of some reviewers aside (Peter Travers calls it the movie that defines the decade...talk about not giving yourself time for perspective) it's a well-made movie with terrific performances and a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin (who also has an amusing cameo) that is as sharp as ever. I'd agree with CaptainCanada
that the film has a sort of non-ending, but so did the story in real life, so that was pretty inevitable. Zuckerberg settled for a small slice of his fortune and ended up on top, at least financially. It's a fascinating movie about how business can totally corrupt a friendship, among other things, and people who can only see that it's about facebook are missing out on a good thing.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps: From 1986 to 1995, Oliver Stone directed (and often wrote) ten films which I'd rate from good to great. Even a relative misfire like The Doors
from that period is eminently watchable. Since then, however, his track record has been pretty awful--I still haven't seen U-Turn
, but everything in the past fifteen years save W.
rates from poor to just mediocre. I'm happy to report that, despite the mixed reviews, that the sequel to Wall Street
is just as good as the original. Yes, the very end is a tad sentimental and unbelievable considering the rest of the movie, but the original had the same problem (curiously, any moral uplift with Bud Fox is utterly crushed by Charlie Sheen's cameo in this movie, which confirms the running theme through most of this sequel that nobody can stay good for long). Like the original, there's a good supporting cast and good performances all around (LaBeuf might actually be better than Sheen's turn in the first one). Definitely worth watching, and perhaps a sign that Oliver Stone is a director worth watching once more.